[dehai-news] (Reuters): Eritrea rejects UN demand for border pull-back

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Fri Jan 16 2009 - 07:16:30 EST

Eritrea rejects UN demand for border pull-back

Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:33am GMT


NAIROBI (Reuters) - Eritrea has rejected a U.N. Security Council demand that
it withdraw military forces from its border with Djibouti within five weeks.

Djibouti accuses its Horn of Africa neighbour of sending troops across the
frontier last June, triggering several days of battles that killed a dozen
Djiboutian troops and wounded dozens more. Eritrea denies making any

"Under strong pressure from self-interested powers, the U.N. Security
Council...adopted an ill-considered, unbalanced and unnecessary resolution
against Eritrea," the Foreign Ministry in Asmara said in a statement on
Thursday night.

"Any balanced examination of the situation would lead to the conclusion that
this measure cannot have been motivated by any genuine considerations of the
rule of law."

Djibouti hosts U.S. and French military bases and is the main route to the
sea for Eritrea's arch-foe and Washington's main regional ally, Ethiopia.
Djibouti also accuses Eritrea of seizing what it says is its territory on
the Red Sea coast.

On Wednesday, the resolution approved by all 15 Security Council members
praised Djibouti for withdrawing its forces to pre-conflict positions and
condemned Eritrea for not doing so.

It demanded Asmara pull back all of its forces to their previous locations
within five weeks, but did not say what would happen if Eritrea did not

Asmara accused Security Council members of ignoring what it called breaches
of international law by Ethiopia, with which it fought a 1998-2000 border
war that killed 70,000 people.

Eritrea says Ethiopia still occupies frontier towns that it was awarded by
an independent commission. Addis Ababa denies it.

"Instead of addressing these real breaches of international law, the U.N.
Security Council has seen it appropriate to pass a resolution...against
Eritrea on a manufactured 'border dispute'," the Eritrean government said in
its statement.

"Eritrea has not occupied any land that belongs to Djibouti. It obviously
cannot accept a resolution that demands the 'withdrawal of its forces' from
its own territory."

C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


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